Five Arsene Wenger quotes


London (AFP) – AFP Sports picks out five Arsene Wenger quotes as the Frenchman celebrates 20 years as Arsenal manager this week:

“To remain unbeaten in a championship like the English championship now is really unbelievable. I want to win the Champions League but, really, this is more important. It is something amazing, something special. How can you do it?”

A justifiably proud as punch Wenger after his ‘Invincibles’, including French stars Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, went through the 2003/04 Premier League season unbeaten, only the second side after Preston North End in 1888/89 to achieve that feat.

“What’s really dreadful is the diet in Britain. The whole day you drink tea with milk and coffee with milk and cakes. If you had a fantasy world of what you shouldn’t eat in sport, it’s what you eat here.”

Not from the Marie Antoinette school of ‘let them eat cake’ Wenger used to the healthier diet of Japan, where he coached before takin

g over at Arsenal, lashes out at British dietary habits  

“He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”

Wenger has had fiery relationships with primarily Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson and eschewed the tradition of having a drink with his opposite number after the match. Here he reacts furiously to Mourinho having remarked in 2005 that Wenger was a ‘voyeur’ for constantly talking about Chelsea. 

“A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.”

The aesthetic side of Wenger is never far from the surface and here he reveals it again….some of his team talks must have been very interesting.

“We try to go a different way that, for me, is respectable. Briefly, these are the basics. I thought: “We are building a stadium, so I will get young players in early so I do not find myself exposed on the transfer market without the money to compete with the others. I build a team, and we compensate by creating a style of play, by creating a culture at the club because the boy comes in at 16 or 17 and when they go out they have a supplement of soul, of love for the club, because they have been educated together. The people you meet at college from 16 to 20, often those are the relationships in life that keep going. That, I think, will give us strength that other clubs will not have.”

Wenger revealing his philosophy in 2006 when the Gunners invested in building The Emirates on building a team and not splashing the cash like his rivals. He has had to repeat it on several occasions as once much-admired the lack of silverware apart from two FA Cups — no Premier League title since 2004 — has sewn question marks aplenty in Arsenal fans.

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